Alfred de Vigny

1797 (Loches, France) – 1863 (Paris)

Vigny knew Dumas from Nodier’s Salon de l’Arsenal, the seedbed of French romanticism; Hugo, Musset, Lamartine and Sainte-Beuve were all regular attenders. Of these, Hugo was one of Vigny’s closest friends, though the friendship later faded; Sainte-Beuve treated him cordially but later became his most damaging critic (coining the term ‘ivory tower’ to describe Vigny’s social seclusion); and Lamartine, in his diplomatic role, hosted Vigny in Florence. He visited Sand; while not one of her lovers, his own lover Marie Dorval famously was. Thackeray, Disraeli and Carlyle were met during a long stay in London.